13 February 2013

Three things

So two fun and one not fun thing have happened in the past day so this is just about them…no existential thinking or life quandaries…thank goodness right??

        1.       My IB 11 class is studying bias and so I had them read news articles.  I love trying to get them to relate to the news articles, but it’s hard.  Anyways one of them was on Alzheimer’s and I asked if they knew what that was…the best response ever…

“Of course we do Miss, we watch Grey’s Anatomy”

        2.       I am in love with 8tracks.  If you haven’t heard of it ask Emmy, she told me about it.  Anyways basically you type in your mood (happy, sad) and what you are doing (driving, showering) and it pulls up playlists people have made.  This morning I listened to “Middle School Dance”.  Of course I did not blast “You Ought to Know” by Alanis at 6am on the freeway.  Never.

        3.       Speaking of freeway, I saw a dead body on the road yesterday.  You know how in the states when there is a bad accident they pretty much scoop the body up before anyone can see it and leave the rest of the wreck.  Yeah, well here, there were four cops standing around this body in the far left lane of the freeway.  Not the fun one, but it is what makes life in Bahrain different. 

The 2nd anniversary of the protests is tomorrow.  Things may be bad, things may not be…who knows…I have some students saying they are not coming to school, while the government has issued a decree to allow no sick days tomorrow, to encourage people to proceed in normal fashion.  You can read the article in the Bahrain newspaper Gulf Daily News.  

09 February 2013

Jet skiing

What do you do on your last day of vacation?  Lesson plan?  Mark?  Clean? 

All things I should be doing.  Instead I'm jet skiing with the boys!  Thanks Mark and Ed for taking us girls out.  And a special thank you to Mark for not throwing me off...the same cannot be said for Ed. 

04 February 2013

Kickin' it old school

The title has nothing to do with the blog post really.  It was a quote today at lunch.  Is it really so bad to be old school?  We know that I am pro technology and moving forward, but honestly, when did good old fashioned moves, ideas or thoughts become passe'.  It's nice to kick it old school.  

Life is pretty old school right now.  School, home, play.  I’m driving now.  I love it.  It really makes it feel like I live here.  We’ve been off of school for a while now.  Exams were last week so days were short and we have this week off between the semesters.  I have gotten a lot accomplished.  Ladies night at 338, Ladies night at JJ’s, Ladies night at Dublins, Ladies night at JJ’s again.  I watched the superbowl, talked sports and had great meal conversations.  I have a lot to do before we go back to school.  Stuff which should include less Ladies nights and more prepping, grading and cleaning.  However recent events and deep conversations with my girls have me thinking…When did lying and tricking become the new school, and why is it ok?  

Have you ever lied to someone?  Duh.  We all have.  Over little things, big things, if anyone says they haven’t they are…well…lying.  The only person who doesn’t lie is my friend Ezza.  Not for not wanting to lie…she tries.  Her face gives her away every time though.  Unless she is lying about living with Somali Pirates.  Because that is believable. 

I lie to my students on a daily basis.  “Miss did you grade my test?” “Yes, of course, but I left it at home.” “Miss do you like our class?” “Yes, of course, you are the apple of my eye.” “Miss, do you smell like alcohol?” “No, of course not, this is what happiness smells like.”  I had a student call me out for not returning something I said I graded…I told her teachers lie.  Her face was priceless. 

Well so anyways…with all of this lying going on in the world, who can you trust?  Why should you trust? Where does it get you?  When is a white lie ok? Ever? When should you spare all the details of the truth?

I used to think I was a really personable person.  However when you lift up your entire life, leave your family and friends behind and have to start over fresh, you learn a lot about yourself.  I am a lot more private than I ever thought I would be.  I’ve discovered I’m an open book…as long as somebody turns the pages.  I don’t volunteer a lot about my life, however when asked, or I feel right, I’ll share anything and everything.  I do not intend to hide anything, I just am not a conversation starter (unless I’m insulting your choice of sports allegiance.)  However I am really good at asking questions…or so I thought.

So I get 4ish tv channels here.  One of them is MTV.  I watch a lot of it.  I have seen every episode of Plain Jane…twice.  I hate the show.  It is girls with low self esteem getting babied to feel better about themselves so they can hit on guys.  Seriously, is that all we need confidence for? Talking to guys? Don’t we need confidence for job interviews, talking our way out of tickets and making new friends?  My other thing is what are these guys doing to these girls to give them such low self esteem.  The girls aren’t bad looking, nor are they 10’s, but who is?  Oh me? Ok, I know (right, maybe I should share some of my confidence with them.) 

So anyways, these girls are taught how to lie to these boys.  They have to do “practice” rounds where they say they are buying a dog (when they are not), going on a trip (when they are staying home) or looking to date (when they already have someone in mind.)  They are then taught the questions NOT to ask.  So that as much truth can be evaded on a first date.  Remember the rule “Don’t talk about sex, politics, or religion on a date?”  It has expanded.  Don’t ask about past relationships or future plans (but one is freaking hilarious and the other is all I can think about).  Don’t talk about work, that’s not fun (but school is my job, hobby and passion).  Don’t talk about drinking, you don’t want to seem like a lush (well, shit, wine is my second hobby).  Don’t talk about college, you don’t want to seem like a nerd (if you don’t appreciate my nerd, then well, you are normal.)  My questions all revolve around these thoughts and ideas...so apparently I suck at asking questions. 

Well.  That leaves so much to talk about.  Or lie about.  Or evade. 

I had a great convo with Joe (not one of the girls, however, if he would like an honorary girl badge I can arrange that) the other day about risks.  Being open, telling the truth, asking the hard questions, puts you at risk.  If you don’t take risks, you can never achieve your goals. However you have to be prepared to fail. However, in order for this to work, everyone has to take risks.  If only one person is the risk taker, then only one person is getting hurt. 

We should all take a page out of Ez’s book. If we all wore our hearts on our sleeves, or emotions visible and believed in the good of all people the world would be more inviting.  Or flipping crazy.  I love her.  I spent years moving past being a CHB.  Missing my family and friends has made me more emotional than I ever anticipated being.  As Leah mentioned in her post, I want things to be black or white, right or wrong.  It’s not like that.  The risks confuse us.  I know this. I’m 29 years old. However it is still so freaking scary.  But it’s all we have, trust, faith, and risks.  And not lying.  Or evading the hard questions.  They are hard because they are good.  They are good because they are risky.  They are risky because we cannot decide whether to lie or evade or be honest.

Cheers to being honest.  And asking the hard questions.  And knowing what you want.  And doing what you need to do to achieve your goals.  And knowing when the risk is worth the reward. Here's to kicking it old school and using good old fashioned pen and napkin to write things down instead of an iphone.  

Be open, honest, and emotional.  Be like Ezza.

But don’t play “Never, have I ever” with her.  There are some things that should be lied about.